U.S. Bank, Korean Air Update SKYPASS Visas with New Benefits
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U.S. Bank and Korean Air have announced updates for their line-up of SKYPASS Visa cards.
About the card updates:
This week, U.S. Bank and Korean Air unveiled updated versions of their co-branded credit cards. In addition to debuting new perks for each of their three consumer cards, the SKYPASS portfolio will also now bare a new vertical design.
As for those new benefits, starting with the top-tier SKYPASS Select, the card will now earn 3x miles on Korean Air ticket purchases (up from 2x previously) and has added a 2x on dining category. Additionally, cardholders will continue to earn 2x on hotel bookings, 2x on purchases of other airline tickets, 2x on car rentals, and 1x on all other purchases. Meanwhile, another new perk is that cardholders and a companion can utilize a 5% Korean Air ticket discount up to twice annually. The $450 annual fee card also features a $200 travel credit annually, two KAL Lounge coupons annually, two $25 Duty Free coupons annually, and more.
Next up, the $99 annual fee SKYPASS Visa is also adding a 5% Korean Air ticket discount for cardholders and a companion — although, in this case, the perk will be valid once annually. Like the Select, this mid-tier card gains a 2x miles on the dining purchases category as well, joining existing 2x on Korean Air tickets, 2x on hotels, and 1x on all other purchases categories. Lastly, the card also continues to offer two KAL Lounge coupons annually.
Finally, the SKYPASS SkyBlue no-annual-fee card will now earn 2x miles on streaming services, 2x miles on rideshare purchases, and 1x miles on all other purchases. Previously — prior to a hiatus for the card — it offered just 1 mile per $2 spent on purchases.
To celebrate these updates, the SKYPASS cards are also offering special welcome bonuses. Currently, new SKYPASS Select cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on the card within their first 90 days.
Meanwhile, the SKYPASS Visa is offering 40,000 miles after spending $4,000 in 90 days. Lastly, the SKYPASS SkyBlue card will allow new cardholders to earn 10,000 miles after spending just $1,000 on the card in their first 90 days.
What they’re saying:
Commenting on the updates, SVP and director Korean Air Americas Regional Headquarters Jin Ho Lee said, “The SKYPASS Visa program has created amazing value for Korean Air passengers, awarding more than 28 billion miles to cardholders since the U.S. Bank-Korean Air partnership started more than two decades ago. The new benefits will help Korean Air cardholders utilize notable ticket discounts and accrue rewards faster than ever before.”
Additionally, U.S. Bank’s head of Retail Payment Solutions Steve Mattics noted, “U.S. Bank is proud of its long-standing relationship with Korean Air. Together, we’re providing our cardholders with a great experience and enhanced rewards. We’re pleased to join with Korean Air to increase benefits as an additional way of rewarding members of the Korean Air SKYPASS program.”
With no hikes to the annual fees of these SKYPASS cards, these updates are an all-around win for cardholders. As for those who don’t yet have any of these cards, it’s hard to say whether these new perks now make these card options worth getting. The answer to that will depend on two key things: 1) what you value SKYPASS miles at and 2) how often you fly Korean Air. That said, with Korean Air being a SkyTeam member, those willing to put in some research time may be able to benefit from these cards even if they don’t plan on actually flying with Korean Air. If nothing else, though, it’s always great to see card issuers improving their products.
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